MILLS RIVER, N.C. – A fourth-grade English assignment that criticized North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget as harmful to education is not left-wing propaganda, it’s only a Common Core-aligned assignment, according to the school’s principal.
Glenn C. Marlow Elementary Principal John Bryant tells EAGnews the assignment in question is directly related to the new Common Core learning standards that are being implemented in North Carolina and 44 other states and Washington, D.C. (EAGnews’ original story can be found here.)
The assignment – titled “Raleigh’s Educational Plan” – is meant to teach students “how to read with a critical eye,” Bryant says.
That’s one of the objectives being promoted by the new Common Core English standards, he notes.
Here’s how the fourth-grade English assignment – which was originally posted on StopCommonCoreNC.org – begins:
“North Carolina’s Republican leaders seem determined to undermine a strong early childhood education. Governor Pat McCrory’s proposed 2013-14 state budget would reduce funding for teacher assistants by 2.27 million dollars, which will reduce the number of teacher assistants positions in Henderson County Public Schools by almost 50 percent.”
Bryant explains that students are presented with “informational” readings – a central feature of Common Core – so they can learn how authors use “tone, purpose, point of view and meaning” to advance their message.
“Students have to be aware of how to read that kind of text,” Bryant says.
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Bryant says teachers use “excerpts from various newspapers” as material for some of the “informational text” lessons. Some of the material presented to students has a right-of-center perspective.
“There is no attempt to create a left-wing bias or to misrepresent a right-wing point of view,” Bryant adds. “We don’t have a political agenda. We have an educational agenda.”
Parents in North Carolina’s Hendersonville County school district will be glad to hear that.
But Americans in other Common Core-participating school districts and states might be troubled to know that politically loaded assignments for nine year olds are not only acceptable under Common Core learning standards – they’re expected.
While teachers in North Carolina’s Hendersonville County school district might strive to produce balanced assignments, will politically motivated teachers in “blue” states and cities be as conscientious?
Unless Americans rise up and tell their lawmakers to halt the implementation of Common Core standards in their state, they’ll find out soon enough.